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‘They need lots of love’: Manitoba organization rehoming beagles used in research labs

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A Manitoba organization aimed at giving research dogs a second chance at life is searching for foster homes for pups in need.

The Beagle Alliance is dedicated to rehoming dogs used in laboratory research.

According to the alliance, over 10,000 dogs, mostly beagles, are used in research in Canada every year.

“Beagles are used because they’re forgiving. They’re docile. They don’t bite back and sadly, they are small enough to fit in a cage, so therefore more of them can be used in research at one given time,” said Lori Cohen, executive director of The Beagle Alliance.

Most are euthanized, Cohen says.

The majority of the dogs the alliance receives are from the United States because Canadian facilities are not bound by law to release animals after study.

Rescue beagle Dakota is shown in an undated photo. He is searching for a forever home in British Columbia or Alberta. (The Beagle Alliance/Facebook)

The organization is advocating to work alongside the facilities and the Canadian Council on Animal Care, the federal regulatory body, to ensure beagles can go on to live in loving, forever homes.

Cohen says dogs exiting these facilities often exhibit signs of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“When they get out of research and go into homes, they need time to decompress and just feel safe again.”

Volunteer Brenda Greschuk has worked on three beagle rescues with the alliance.

“It’s been quite an experience to see how a dog that’s been in the lab is compared to our normal house dogs that we have - our pets,” she said.

“They need lots of love.”

The alliance is currently taking applications for prospective foster homes. Additionally, the organization is always in need of volunteers and donations, as its veterinary bills are high.

The alliance is also hosting a benefit at Nicolino’s Restaurant on June 6.

“There are definitely many ways to support,” Cohen said.

More details can be found on the alliance’s website.

- With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagacé

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